Updated: Aug 13, 2022
Anuradhapura – Jaffna – Trincomalee – Sigiriya – Dambulla – Kandy -Rathnapura – Yala – Galle – Colombo (9Days/8Nights)
Day 01 – Arrival at Colombo airport – Anuradhapura
Anuradhapura, one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, is well-known for its ancient ruins. This historic city is now a world heritage site and home to a few of the majestic Buddhist temples whose history dates back to several years. The architectural grandeur, the religious significance of these historic temples in Anuradhapura, will make your visit worth it. These eight places are comprised of Jaya Sri Maha Bodhiya, Thuparamaya, Lovamahapaya, Ruwanwelisaya Stupa, Mirisaweti Stupa, Abhayagiri Stupa, Jetavanaramaya, and Lankaramaya.One of these was established by Anuradha, a minister of King Vijaya, on the banks of a stream called Kolon and was named Anuradhagama. In 377 BC, King Pandukabhaya, grandson of King Panduvasudeva (437–367 BC) made it his capital and developed the city.
Stay Night in Anuradhapura
Day 02 – Jaffna
Jaffna Dutch Fort
Today, the 400-year-old fort is a visceral reminder of Sri Lanka’s colonial past, as well as a maritime heritage. The massive fort complex overlooks the Jaffna lagoon, and while much of it remains intact, a certain part of the fort had to undergo extensive restoration efforts.
The fort is known as one of the greatest Dutch forts in Asia, owing to the extensive alterations they made to the original Portuguese design, including adding defensive triangles to mirror something similar to a snowflake (which is especially visible from an aerial vantage point).
The gorgeous fort is settled within the borders of a pentagon, which is, in turn, surrounded by a moat. The fort’s walls were constructed with a combination of mortar, brick, stone and coral, and to this day, are mostly hidden underneath grassy slopes.
Boat to Nagadeepa
Nagadeepa is the highest place for Buddhists in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka. Nagadeepa is an island surrounded by the sea, about 32 km from the city of Jaffna. Nagadeepa sacred area where the Supreme Buddha visited for the second time Dutugemunu, Saddhatissa etc. who ruled in Sri Lanka history records that kings protected and cared for them during their reigns. During the Portuguese, Dutch and English rule many temples in Ceylon were destroyed. During that period, the Nagadeepa temple was also destroyed due to their influence. Nagadeepa has been worshiped by Buddhists for as long as 400 years Nagadeepa lost and could not find a place to stay. In the year 1931 Ambalangoda, the great Thero Somasiri Tissa of Randombe suffered a lot the great ones who came to Jaffna and found Nagadeepa and lost to the Buddhists a shrine was re-cleared for pilgrimage. After a tumultuous life for nearly 30 years after the July 1983 riots, the Chief Prelate took care of the Nagadeepa Temple by taking care of the four sides of the Navy.
Stay Night in Jaffna
Day 03 – Jaffna - Trincomalee
Temple and Ruins are one of the few remaining Buddhist legacies in the northern province. Paul E. Peiris, the Jaffna Magistrate at 1917, documented nearly 60 gray coral-stone stupas when he discovered the ruins at the turn of the 20th century. Today however, only about 20 stupas remain sprawled across less than an acre of open land under palmyra trees.
Located a half-hour’s drive away from Jetwing Jaffna, the Kadurugoda Temple and Ruins are found on the outskirts of the city in Kantarodai. It is said that this name was derived from the Sinhalese term, Kandavurugoda (a location of a military camp), which was eventually adopted as Kantarodai by the resident Tamil population of the area.
Moving to Trincomalee
Kinniya Hot Spring
There are seven wells in a square shape. Wells are only 3-4 feet deep and you can clearly see the bottom. The temperature is considerably high but vary from one spring to other wells run out of water, when 10-15 buckets of water are taken out.
Is a stretch of beach which is situated approximately 16 kilometers North of Trincomalee, passing a thriving lagoon on either side and lush coconut palm groves and hordes of cattle, note that the people in the area are predominantly Hindu and consider the cows sacred. Arriving at the hamlet of “Errakkandy”, a sharp right turn will take you down a gravel road to Nilaweli beach, almost a kilometer of in length, white sandy beach with gentle surf. Across the beach about two kilometers into the ocean you will see the famous pigeon island, named due to rock pigeons roosting on it by the hundreds and crystal-clear water around it to snorkel on to the clear depths of a reef. Further up North you will see a cluster of reddish rocks which are referred to as the red rock beach.
Swim with turtles and sharks on Pigeon Island a 10 minutes boat ride from Nilaweli beach.
Stay Night in Trincomalee
Day 04 – Sigiriya
Sigiriya Rock Fortress
Sigiriya is famous for its palace ruins on top of a massive 200-meter-high rock surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and other structures. The rock itself is a lava plug left over from an ancient long extinct volcano. One of the eight World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka, Sigiriya is renowned for its 5th century pre-Christian frescoes. It has also been declared by UNESCO as the 8th Wonder of the World. Sigiriya was built by the fifth-century king Kashyapa I, who ruled the native Sinhalese dynasty, the Moriya. The imposing fortress was the capital of the Sinhalese kingdom until Kashyapa was defeated in A.D. 495. (Watch: An ancient palatial fortress overlooks this barren desert in Israel.) It's 1270 steps. Not all in one go. It is a medium to difficult climb as you need to consider heat and humidity. But ages up to 70 will be fine. The abandoned site of Sigiriya wasn't found until 1831. British Army Major Jonathan Forbes rediscovered Sigiriya in 1831. He came across the site during a horseback ride.The climb all the way to the top can take between 1.5 hours and 3 hours – depending on your fitness, how crowded the place is and how many pictures you are shooting. As the view from the top is quite stunning and you might need some time to catch your breath, I'd rather err on the longer side.
Sigiriya Village Walk
Take a real village walk through the rustic rural community of Sigiriya and Habarana accompanied by an expert guide. It's not merely a walk only but an authentic encounter with the local village folk; experiencing their lifestyles, their culture and their hospitality. By authentic we mean it's a true village scenario, not one set up as a tourist attraction. Since both villages are predominantly agriculture based, there is ample opportunity to experience conventional rice fields, vegetable farming, cultivation of native yams and other crops, poultry keeping, bee keeping and much more. It's a pure interaction with the sons of the soil who laboure with the good earth to earn a living. For those with a knack for adventure, try climbing the makeshift "tree house" from where the villagers keep watch and drive-away the wild animals during the night. You will be warmly welcomed to see and even have some hands-on experience of what it's like to be one with nature's bounty. Let the cool breeze brush against your face as you head to one of their humble homes for a refreshing cup of Pure Ceylon Tea served with a piece of jaggery a sweet brown sugar made from solidified palm sap). You will also have a close encounter with fish vendors selling fresh-water fish brought from the nearby lakes, vegetable vendors with baskets of vegetables on hand-pushed carts or bicycles on their rounds through the villages. Learn the working of village industries such as clay brick making, starting from the crushing of the dry clay, kneading, moulding and finally burning in a traditional wood kiln. This one-of-a-kind experience will also take you through patches of jungle where you can witness chena or shifting cultivation (a primitive form of agriculture) in addition to plenty of birds and some wildlife. At the end of the tour, you would have experienced true Sri Lankan hospitality immersed with warmth and genuine smiles.
Stay Night in Sigiriya
Day 05 – Dambulla – Kandy
Dambulla Golden Cave Temple
A sacred pilgrimage site for 22 centuries, this cave monastery, with its five sanctuaries, is the largest, best-preserved cave-temple complex in Sri Lanka. The Buddhist mural paintings (covering an area of 2,100 m2 ) are of particular importance, as are the 157 statues. There are 364 steps in the Dambulla cave. Cave Temples. The idea of constructing Buddhist temples by hollowing out rock faces was brought to China from Central Asia, where monuments of this sort had been constructed for centuries. Over the years, more and more caves would be excavated and decorated as pious acts on the part of monks and artists.
National Spice Garden Mathale
A delightful place to stroll in fragrant greenery and learn about nutmeg, pepper vines, clove trees and curry, cinnamon and the precious cardamom, a relative of ginger. It grows in the shade of high jungle trees and can only be harvested by hand. Visitors may buy spices, traditional remedies and cosmetics, taste a herbal brew and in some venues, enjoy the full flavors of Sri Lankan spices over lunch or an Ayurveda massage based on natural products from the garden.
Tooth Relic Temple
Visit the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic of the Buddha (Sri Dalada Maligawa), which houses the most important Relic of the Buddhists in Sri Lanka. A gold canopy was erected some years ago over the roof of the shrine room where it is placed.
After the parinirvana of Gautama Buddha, the tooth relic was preserved in Kalinga and smuggled to the island by Princess Hemamali and her husband, Prince Dantha on the instructions of her father King Guasave.
The Kandy Lake Club Cultural Dance Show is a stimulating Sri Lankan Arts, Dance and Cultural Heritage Show that is a must see for any visitor who visits the historic city of Kandy. The Kandy Lake Club Dance started in 1982 with the view of having a cultural dance performance bringing together all Sri Lankan dance types to one platform. It is the first Cultural Dance Show of its kind to be established in Sri Lanka. It has since become a tourist attraction for many people visiting the country and keen on a glimpse of its rich cultural heritage. Hence it has been performing continuously for the last 35 years. During the show, you will see several dances which depict the graceful movements of birds and animals, which trace their origins back to the ancient ritual known as the Kohomba Kapkariya, as well as energetic acrobatic performances where the men perform a series of leaping pirouettes and stunts such as plate-spinning and the dramatic ‘fire walk’ which ends the show.
Stay Night in Kandy
Day 06 – Yala
Kandy Mount View
Gem Shop, Batik & Silk Factory
Moving to Rathnapura & Stay Night in there
Day 07 – Rathnapura
National Museum Rathnapura
The National Museum of Rathnapura is one of the national exhibition halls of Sri Lanka. It is situated in Rathnapura, Sri Lanka and it was opened on 13 May 1988. The gallery building is called “Ehelepola Walauwa”, as it once had a place with Ehelepola Nilame, a squire of the Kingdom of Kandy, who was the first Adigar (1811 – 1814) under the rule King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, the last lord of Sri Lanka, for whom he filled in as the Disawe (neighborhood Governor) of Rathnapura.
The historical center incorporates displays on ancient archaeological creations, common legacy, land, anthropological, zoological relics and models identifying with the Sabaragamuwa Province. The weaponry in plain view incorporates Sinhala swords of the late medieval time including a sword asserted to have had a place with Ehelepola, and a gathering of old firearms including a Vickers assault rifle utilized amid the First World War. The cooking utensils of the locale incorporate a tripod container with three molds for getting ready rice flour cakes known as Kiri roti. Conventional Kandyan adornments incorporates pieces of jewelry, bangles, anklets and hoops. The grounds of the historical center contain a palaeobiodiversity stop, with life-sized creature models of species accepted to have existed in the area.
Gemstone mining in Sri Lanka is mostly from secondary deposits. The gravels yield sapphire, ruby, cat's-eye and other chrysoberyl’s, spinel, garnet, beryl, tourmaline, topaz, quartz, and many other gemstones. Sri Lanka's gem-bearing gravels, called illam, are some of the richest in the world. The most commonly used Gemstone mining method in Sri Lanka is Pit-Head Mining and Tunneling. Surface Placer Mining and River Bed Dredging are the other methods used widely.
Bopath Ella Waterfall
Bopath Falls is located in the village of Agalwatta in the Ratnapura District of Sri Lanka. The Kuru River, a tributary of the Black River, cascades down 30 meters (95 feet) high through a narrow opening from the top of a mountain at one point in her journey. The name 'Bopath Ella' is derived from the fact that the stream collapses in the form of a Bo leaf when there is good water. The first body of water, which falls through a narrow opening, then expands, reminiscent of the shape of a palm leaf. Bopath Ella is a beautiful place that attracts the attention of local tourists today.
Stay Night in Rathnapura
Day 08 – Yala
Yala National Park
Yala was designated as a wildlife sanctuary in 1900, and, along with Wilpattu was one of the first two national parks in Sri Lanka, having been designated in 1938. The park is best known for its variety of wild animals. It is important for the conservation of Sri Lankan elephants, Sri Lankan leopards and aquatic birds. Yala is home to 44 varieties of mammal and 215 bird species. Among its more famous residents are the world's biggest concentration of leopards, majestic elephants, sloth bears, sambars, jackals, spotted dear, peacocks, and crocodiles. For the most reliable wildlife sightings, it's best to visit Yala in the dry season from February to June. With the water levels lower, it's easier to spot animals coming out to the lagoons to drink. The park normally closes each year for the month of September for maintenance. This Yala safari tour lasts around 5 hours and they pick up from your accommodation in the Yala area – or you can meet them at Yala National Park entrance.
Moving to Colombo & Stay Night in there
Day 9 – Colombo
The Most Visited temple in the city, the Gangaramaya Temple which organizes Sri Lanka’s largest and the most colorful Vesak festival annually, has a history of 120 years. It was established in 1885 by Venerable Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera at a time when Buddhist and cultural resurgence were much needed as the country was under the colonial rule.
The area that was once a swamp beside the Beira Lake, has now turned to be an iconic complex which consists of the temple, the assembly hall in the breathtaking lake and the vocational training institute. Earlier, devotees had to cross the Beira Lake on a boat in order to reach the then small temple which was converted to what is today by the Devundara Sri Jinaratana Nayake Thera, a pupil of Venerable Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala Nayaka Thera who appointed him as the chief incumbent of the temple.
Initiated by Ven Sri Jinarathana Nayaka Thera as a collection of artifacts and other objects of religious, cultural and historical value, the museum of the temple was much developed to what is today by Ven Galaboda Gnanissara Nayaka Thera with the help of devotees and donors here and abroad particularly the Asian region. Today the museum is replete with a range of ageless treasures from ancient Sri Lanka as well as around the globe, including valuable Buddha statues of different influences, ancient ola leaf writings, old coins, vehicles and other relics in a classic display of tradition and culture.
Colombo National Museum
The largest museum in Sri Lanka, the National Museum of Colombo was established in January 1877 by Sir William Henry Gregory, the then British Governor of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Currently maintained by the Department of National Museum of the central government, the museum is home to a lot of important collections, including the crown and throne of the Kandyan monarchs. Housed in a two-storied building, the museum has a big, well-maintained, lush green lawn right in front that is shaded by mighty banyan trees, which adds to the beauty of the place. As you enter the museum, you shall also find a fourth-century Buddha smiling at you in the lobby. Going forward, you will be mesmerized to find the collections in the museum. The galleries are as old as 1877, and you shall find all sorts of ancient art, carvings, and statues from Sri Lanka’s past along with a collection of antique demon masks. You can also find guns, swords, and other things from the colonial times. If you love art, you are totally in for a treat as the gallery also has in display 19th-century reproductions of English paintings of Sri Lanka. On display are the royal throne made for King Wimaladharmasuriya II in 1693, the 9th-century bronze Bodhisattva Sandals, and much more. And that is not all. There are agricultural displays and many more things that are sure to grab your attention and leave a mark in your memories.
Galle Face Green
Galle Face Green is the most popular beach front park in the Colombo city, to have a relaxing evening and see the sunset. Not only that, there are many activities to do such as fly kites, taste Sri Lankan Street food, do walking or jogging and enjoy fresh breeze coming from the Indian ocean. Eventhogh, currently Galle face green is restricted to five hectares of beach front strip, originally it extended to larger area bounding up to Beire lake and Colombo Fort walls. Few centuries ago, Dutch used this area as a point to to setup their cannons. This one-mile-long Galle Face walk was established during the British Governor Sir Henry George Ward's time. Construction of this promenade was completed in year 1859. The historic Gall Face Hotel (established in 1864) is located by the one end of the Galle Face green Due to its historical values, location, tasty food and quality service, Galle Face Hotel is visited by many guests, both locals and foreigners. Even though Galle face green has a lengthy beach front, beach is smaller when compared to Mount Laninia or Wellawatta. Sea is not so calm on most days and not recommend for sea bath. With the fall of night, street food vendors open their stalls and carts for business. Famous Sri Lankan kotthu and prawn wade has high demand. Kids used to come this place in the evening for playing and fly kites. In the morning many people used come to Galle face for exercising and burn their extra fat.
Transfer to Airport for departure flight.
• Accommodation on sharing a double/twin/triple room at the hotels specified in hotel collection.
• Include Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
• Transport in a Private Vehicle, inclusive of all Chauffeur accommodation, cost of fuel, parking & highway tolls.
• Private Transport with airport transfers in an Air-Conditioned Vehicle throughout the tour
• Service of an English-Speaking Chauffeur Guide.
• Entry Visa Fees, please visit www.eta.gov.lk for more details
• International / Domestic Airfare.
• Any expenses of personal nature.
• Tips & Portages.